Lafayette’s economy continues to redefine robust, ringing in a whopping $527 million in retail sales in June, the latest month for which figures are available. That’s 2.5 percent higher than June of last year and 6.5 percent above May of this year. Year-to-date retail sales are up to $2.96 billion, a 3.92 percent increase over the first six months of 2012. In fact, June was the third highest single month on record for Lafayette Parish. Hotel/motel receipts are also out-pacing 2012. It’s little wonder, although much appreciated, that Area Development magazine, which businesses use for scouting locations to open their doors, gave Lafayette a trifecta, naming it Best Midsize City, Best City in the South and Best Overall City among nearly 400 metro areas ranked.
Kerry Bertrand will almost certainly be convicted for the murder of his stepdaughter, 20-year-old Skylar Credeur, who was found drowned in her bathtub in Rayne — Bertrand, according to police, was found hiding in the attic — a week after she filed a protective order against him. Bertrand will get his day in court. But regardless of the outcome, the case underscores a level of dysfunction in the 15th Judicial District system that should give everyone pause. Bertrand had been released from the Acadia Parish Jail where he was being held on a molestation charge on Aug. 12. He had been jailed since May 31 on the charge, but was released because a bill of information was never filed in the case, a procedure required to keep a suspect behind bars. District Attorney Mike Harson blames state police, telling local media he didn’t receive a report from state police until 75 days after Bertrand’s arrest. State police argue the report wasn’t necessary to file the bill of information. Someone dropped the ball big time. And if Bertrand is ultimately convicted of a crime that could have been prevented had the legal system done its job and kept him in jail, Skylar Credeur’s death is at once tragic, senseless and an outrage.
Headlines in next year’s Senate race pitting incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu against, presumably, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, tell the tale: “Cassidy won’t support shutdown over Obamacare” (Aug. 22 at theind.com via The Associated Press) and “Cassidy supports government shutdown threat over Obamacare flap” (Aug. 25 in The Advocate). What happened in that three-day span? For starters, the arch conservative Heritage Foundation dropped Cassidy onto a target list for failing to join the far right wing of the GOP that wants to shut the federal government down if any spending resolutions include funding for the Affordable Care Act. He joined moderate Louisiana congressional Republican Reps. Charles Boustany and the soon-to-be-retired Rodney Alexander on said target list. According to The Advocate, Cassidy had no comment on his change of heart, although he released a statement reminding us that he has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare because ... something Albert Einstein said about insanity.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.